Four Tips to Saving on Airline Baggage Fees (Without Packing Lighter)
The airline industry has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy since 9/11 and the financial crisis. Many airlines have been finding ways to increase costs on their customers. One of the biggest frustrations to many customers is that they have to pay more money on baggage. Clever customers will look for ways to save as much on baggage as possible.
Obviously, the easiest way to save on baggage is to simply pack less. However, sometimes you need to bring certain items on your tips.
Airlines have very different policies on checking bags. All other things being equal, I will always fly with Jetblue or Southwest. Jetblue allows me to check one bag for free with every trip. Southwest also lets you bring two fifty pound backs for free.
These savings can really add up when you are traveling in a group. A couple traveling together could save several hundred dollars in baggage fees using one of these airlines over using United Airlines or another carrier.
Check out Programs Offered by the Airlines
Many airlines are going to offer programs where you can cut your baggage fees. First of all, you can consider looking into an airline credit card. These credit cards often come with a number of money saving perks for travelers, which can include lower baggage fees.
You may also want to check out different loyalty programs offered by your airline. These programs allow you to earn points, which can help you save on your next flight. They also give you the chance to save on baggage fees.
Check the Differences Between Bags
You may be traveling with someone who is going to be packing more or less than you are. This tends to be the case when a men and women are flying in pairs, as women tend to require more essentials for their trip. You can both weigh your baggage and share space if one of you is over and the other has some to spare.
Make sure you know how much your bags cost ahead of time. You aren’t going to be want to go through the hassle of opening up your personal things in the middle of the airport or risk having to step out of line when you find that one of your bags is over capacity. Purchase a scale and weigh your baggage at home so you aren’t going to be surprised during your trip.
Use a Light Suitcase
You will need to be careful what kind of suitcase you use. Some suitcases weigh more than four pounds, which can put you over the limit if you aren’t traveling light. Try to get the lightest suitcase possible. However, you will also want to be sure that you don’t comprise weight for strength. The last thing you want to do is purchase a light suitcase and watch it break under you when you stuff it to the max. Make sure to check reviews beforehand.
Baggage Fees Can Be Expensive
Airlines are charging more for baggage fees these days. Make sure that you understand what the costs are and do everything you can to lower your fees. While it is good to know how to cut fees so you can travel with your essentials, you should also be realistic about what you can leave behind. The tips mentioned in this article can only take you so far, so you will still want to make sure you don’t pack too many things you don’t really need.
Air Travel Tips by:
Kalen is a contributing travel, finance and lifestyle writer for Expedia.com.